ANAHEIM, Calif. - Jace Peterson played in 93 games for the Orioles last season. Tonight, for the start of a four-game series against the Los Angeles Angels, he rejoins the club. This comes nine days after Peterson opted out of his Orioles minor league contract and briefly was a free agent.
Three days later he re-signed with the club. Less than a week after that, he’s back in the majors.
“I got to go see the family for a little bit,” Peterson says of his brief free agency. “Got to look around and negotiate some things. It’s been a fun year so far and just looking forward to getting back on the field.”
At Triple-A Norfolk, Peterson hit .313/.398/.512 with 25 doubles, five triples, 10 home runs and 26 RBIs in 90 games. Did he think he would stay with the Orioles after the opt out?
“There is always a chance,” he said. “Once you have those opt outs and put those in your contract you can always count on the team that you are with to have another offer for you. But it’s kind of one of those things that once you have it, you take it and look around and see what the best move is for you and your family. For me it was at this point to sign back and it worked out.”
Peterson said his call-up to Baltimore was not part of his renegotiated deal.
“There is nothing that was in the contract to be a guarantee. For me it was good opportunity to continue to be here and be able to be back in the big leagues. I think once I signed that new contract, obviously I went back to Norfolk and had a good feeling that if I kept doing what I was doing, I’d eventually get a shot. If not, so be it. So for me it was still a pretty good opportunity to make it up to the big leagues at some point and it worked out.
“Excited to be back. Obviously this is the goal to be in the big leagues and help teams win. Definitely good to be back. Been good for me this year to go down there, kind of reset and play the games. This is the goal to be here.”
Peterson can offer the Orioles versatility on defense to play infield and outfield. He even pitched in one game last year. And in July with the Tides he was batting .420/.517/.788 with six doubles, four homers and an OPS of 1.297.
“I mean honestly I think I’m just growing as a player. I’m getting older, I’m 29 now. Did some things in spring to kind of make a small adjustment and kept working on it down there and it’s been good. Been able to find some holes and put the barrel on the baseball. So, just small adjustments at the plate that you do and definitely a growing year for me at the plate and looking to carry it over,” said Peterson.